A University of Calgary study is looking at how nutritional supplements can help people deal with the stress of the June flood.

The project is based on research out of New Zealand in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.

The supplements being studied are a single vitamin (Vitamin D), a multi-vitamin (B complex) and a broad spectrum formula that contains both vitamins and minerals.


In a University of Calgary study, flood victims are being given one of three vitamin or mineral supplements to gauge their effect on stress levels. (CBC)

There is no placebo in the study, so every participant stands to benefit, said researcher Bonnie Kaplan.

High River resident Pat Markley is taking part in the study.

"It really does disrupt your life. It's not just, 'Oh well, clean up and you're back together the next day.' It's six months in and we're still struggling here,” she said.

On the day the floodwaters came, she had to flee the Museum of the Highwood where she works. She was then forced out of her home and later from her friend's house.

About a month later, the anxiety hit.

"I would just suddenly start crying. I was just feeling really anxious, especially when it rained,” she said.

The research in New Zealand found that people who took vitamin and mineral supplements had a 50 per cent reduction in post traumatic stress episodes.

Kaplan is hoping to recruit several hundred participants over the next few months.

"If another event happens, we'll have data that's local, that we could go to the mayor and other government officials and say you should be helping people with nutrition,” she said.

People interested in participating can go to Facebook.com/floodstudy.